fitness

Why walking is better than sex, chocolate, and a H&M sale.

In news that will delight every gym-avoider, the fittest 56 year-old we know, Di Westaway, swears by the humble stroll.

The woman who regularly scales cliffs and holds the record for the world’s highest handstand is happiest with her feet firmly planted on the ground.

Whether it’s trekking to Everest base camp or simply stretching your legs after work, she says walking is the best exercise women can do.

So don’t waste your snazzy new active wear on brunch, grab the girls and hit the walking track.

Listen: Di raves about the many benefits of walking on the I Don’t Know How She Does It podcast. 

The Sydneysider has made a living out of getting women to walk with their girlfriends. Whether it’s through charity walk Coastrek or her business Wild Women on Top, Di wants to empower women by creating life-changing adventures that get them walking in nature.

Walking has obvious health benefits but the boons extend far beyond just fitness.

“It’s a very time efficient way of ticking a number of boxes,” the author of Natural Exhilaration says.


“Walking with your friends in nature integrates fitness, it integrates mental health, it integrates therapy (because of course you’re always brainstorming and problem-solving for each other), it integrates that social connectedness and it gets you into nature.”

“Those five things work because they bring into being hormones that regulate your mood,” Di says.

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So walking makes you healthier AND happier.

If you find somewhere new to explore, your walks can become mini-adventures that contribute to your overall well-being.

Di has a theory about happiness: you just need three things in life.

Something to do. Someone to love. And something to look forward to.

So plan a walk with your besties and tick, tick, tick!

So that’s the why sorted, but what about the how?

It’s easy. Just deck yourself out in your Kathmandu finery, pop a SheWee in your pack, tote some soup-filled tin cans if you want to up your muscular gains and hightail it to your nearest mountain. Or, you know, just walk around the block.

It doesn’t have to be a spectacular jagged cliff by the ocean or a breathtaking rain forest, any old footpath with a leafy tree here and there will do. It’s the company that counts. Start saving your gossip…

Listen to the full interview here:

You can buy any book mentioned on our podcasts from iBooks at apple.co/mamamia, where you can also subscribe to all our other shows in one place.

Feature image via Di Westaway Facebook. 

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